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Wed 27 Jun 2018 12:26 PM

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Saudi's Princess Reema heralds economic benefits of female independence

Speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Reema bint Bandar says it is a significant moment for the kingdom

Saudi's Princess Reema heralds economic benefits of female independence
Princess Reema bint Bandar, the deputy of Planning and Development for the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority (GSA).

Princess Reema bint Bandar, the deputy of Planning and Development for the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority (GSA), has spoken about the plethora of opportunities allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia will now create.

Speaking to CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, she outlined why the move is just as much an economic decision as a social one.

“The strategy is pure economics,” Princess Reema said. “The economics say you can’t have 50 per cent of the community not participating.  The economics say when 50 per cent of your community, and specifically women, are involved in business and in trade you actually have a better economy.

“This is about job creation, this allows a woman to behave as a professional. She can get to work on time and she can operate independently.”

Although there was a great deal of celebration, she pointed out that the measure was just part of a wider process of social and economic inclusion that the kingdom is going through.

“This is the future, this isn't something you go back from,” she said. “The symbolism of this is that we are taking control, but taking control collectively. This isn't a singular activity, this is not an anomaly. Honestly, the onus is on us to take the next step forward in the growth of the inclusion of women in our country."

Princess Reema also looked at the changes in attitudes in her field, sport, which she says have seen “monumental leaps” in the past two years.

“We have gone from a community saying ‘no do not participate in sports’, to women entering the stadium, to travelling the world with female athletes,” she said.

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